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German Personal Pronouns and Their Cases

Part of the German All-in-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The biggest difference between German personal pronouns and English personal pronouns is that you have to distinguish among three ways to say you: du, ihr, and Sie. Other personal pronouns, like ich and mich (I and me) or wir and uns (we and us), bear a closer resemblance to English.

The genitive case isn’t represented among the personal pronouns because it indicates possession; the personal pronouns represent only people, not something those people possess.

Check out the following table for a list of the personal pronouns. Notice that you and it don’t change in English and the accusative (for direct objects) and dative (for indirect objects) pronouns are identical. The table lists the distinguishing factors for the three forms of you — du, ihr, and Sie — in abbreviated form. Here’s what the abbreviations mean: s. = singular, pl. = plural, inf. = informal, form. = formal.

Nominative (nom.) Accusative (acc.) Dative (dat.)
ich (I) mich (me) mir (me)
du (you) (s., inf.) dich (you) (s., inf.) dir (you) (s., inf.)
er (he) ihn (him) ihm (him)
sie (she) sie (her) ihr (her)
es (it) es (it) ihm (it)
wir (we) uns (us) uns (us)
ihr (you) (pl., inf.) euch (you) (pl., inf.) euch (you) (pl., inf.)
sie (they) sie (them) ihnen (them)
Sie (you) (s. or pl., form.) Sie (you) (s. or pl., form.) Ihnen (you) (s. or pl., form.)
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